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10 Indie RPGs & Strategy Games in Early Access – First Turn Ep.2

Written by Marcello TBL

Unsung Story Gameplay

Here we are with a new First Turn episode. The article where we talk about promising Indie RPGs & Strategy Games in development but already playable through the early access program. As happened in the first episode, today 10 exciting Indie RPGs & Strategy Games to follow and maybe play if you want.

For every game, i pointed out when they have started the early access phase, info about the latest devlog, and links to stores. (finally, GOG store too) Don’t worry, you will not find deadly projects here. So let’s start with the list.

10 Promising Indie RPGs & Strategy Games in Early Access

Low Magic Age

Early access started in 2017

10 Promising Indie RPGs 2022 Low Magic Age

Low Magic Age features an open world full of dungeons to explore. It’s developed from Wizards of the Coast’s Open Game License, so D&D players should have little trouble getting the hang of things quickly. Wandering the world, completing quests, and trading goods make the game feel like a more forgiving Battle Brothers, so if you like that style of gameplay but like your characters to actually survive then Low Magic Age could be a good choice.

The rigid grid-based movement during combat is reminiscent of similar RPGs from the early ’90s; players who fondly remember games like Castle of the Wind could find that this is a game that stokes the fires of nostalgia. The early access build of Low Magic Age is available on Steam & GOG

v.0.91.49 Patch Notes

  • Added the Ranger class
  • Added Auto-Combat feature
  • Balanced and optimized character options
  • Added new house rules
  • …and more!

Rising Lords

Early access started in 2020

10 Promising Indie RPGs 2022 - Rising Lords

Speaking of Battle Brothers, what if you got to be one of the landed nobility in that game instead of a bunch of unwashed mercenaries? Rising Lords from developer Argonwood gives you the chance to find out. The game’s hex-based combat looks and feels very similar, including the head-and-torso pawns representing each unit. It even has decapitations – albeit less unsettling ones, if such a thing can really be said to exist.

Digging deeper, we find that Rising Lords has plenty of kingdom management that goes beyond filling your treasury and painting the map. Serfs conscripted into your army can level up and become mighty warriors, but if they’re holding a sword they aren’t holding a plowshare. Agents can be dispatched to spy and spread misinformation to your enemies, and the game’s system of counters and tactic cards can turn the tide of even the most hopeless situation. Check out Rising Lords‘ Steam page to learn more!

Prologue Update

  • Story Campaign preview
  • New and improved tutorial
  • Quality-of-life improvements
  • …and more!

Shields of Loyalty

Early Access started in 2021

10 Promising Indie RPGs 2022 - Shields of Loyalty Strategy Game

Mosaic Mask Studios cites a lot of big names as inspiration for their sophomore title Shields of Loyalty. Civilization, Fantasy General, Heroes of Might and Magic… the list goes on. It’s an exciting project, and as it approaches the first anniversary of its early-access release, Shields of Loyalty deserves a look by any fantasy strategy fan.

As you explore the island of Mantaria, you’ll find and recruit heroes to join your cause. Units can be merged into squads to give them a fighting chance against larger opponents, and random weather effects can force you to re-evaluate your strategy at a moment’s notice. See for yourself at the game’s Steam page!

Version 0.8.0 Preview

  • New “Eternal Ice” map
  • Added attack animations
  • New music tracks
  • …and more, coming Q1 2022

Live by The Sword: Tactics

Early Access started in 2021

Best Indie Strategy Games 2022 - 

Live By The Sword: Tactics is described by developer Labrador Studios as “an unashamedly old school tactical RPG with modern gameplay ideas.” It’s easy to tell what brand of old-school TRPG they are looking to emulate – the game’s combat screams Final Fantasy Tactics in both style and substance. Live By The Sword: Tactics has plenty of features that aren’t present in the legendary PS1 title, though.

In addition to Story Mode, this game boasts both Ranked and Unranked PVP, a puzzle-like Tactician Mode, custom battlefields, and – perhaps most intriguing of all – Adventure Mode, which turns the game into a roguelite where the world changes and expands with each battle. In addition to the early access build, the Steam page for Live By The Sword: Tactics has a free demo available for players to try.

Act 2 Story Update

  • Adds the second of Story Mode’s three acts, expanding on the plot that began in Act 1.


Early Access started in 2021

10 TOP Indie Strategy 2022 Dorfromantik

This chill tile-laying game has been making waves since its early-access debut in March of 2021. At its heart, Dorfromantik is the most relaxing city-builder you’ve ever played. You’ll consistently draw tiles from a procedurally-generated deck, and find the best way to add them to your ever-growing map. Casual players can build their world however they like, while players looking for a challenge can try to synergize their map for the best possible score when the deck runs out.

Dorfromantik is the perfect cool-down game to play after a long day with your beverage of choice. With new tiles and even biomes to unlock with each playthrough, it will be a constant companion for gamers looking to find their Zen. Both the game and its spa-worthy soundtrack are available on Dorfromantik‘s Steam page & GOG.

Patch 0.4.1b

  • Added option to rebind mouse buttons
  • Made global biome settings persistent over multiple sessions
  • Updated Russian, Swedish, and Portuguese translations
  • …and more!

Unsung Story

Early Access started in 2020

Unsung Story Gameplay

Developer Little Orbit could have made just another fantasy RPG with tactical grid-based combat. Instead, they came up with some fresh ideas and put them into an exciting package with the potential to push boundaries. Their fully-developed world of Lasfaria has been ravaged by a decades-long war, and the player will see the conflict from both sides as the storyline plays out. Characters can be customized with unique appearance options, and Unsung Story‘s setting-exclusive fantasy races ensure that this won’t be the usual lineup of elves and dwarves.

The game’s magic system is based around music, and coordinating your units to create Harmony will improve your performance in battle. That’s an exciting enough idea as it is, but becomes positively tantalizing upon learning that the game is scored by none other than Hitoshi Sakimoto, the composer for Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII. Unsung Story has a lot going for it – follow it on Steam to keep abreast of its progress.

Design Elements and Feedback Process

  • Outlines the game’s design philosophy
  • Acknowledges player feedback
  • Subsequent posts include design documents for some of the game’s playable jobs

Grid Slayer

Early Access started in 2021

Grid Slayer

Deep strategic games often face a conundrum when they’re being balanced for high-level play. Even the smartest AI can’t reliably outplay a human (yet), so how can skilled players get the challenge they’re after? Often, the answer is to just give the AI more stuff – more troops, more mana, more everything. Grid Slayer pushes this idea to its limit, ensuring the player is outnumbered and outclassed at every turn and requiring them to use their head to emerge victorious.

At its core, Grid Slayer is a tactical deck builder. The game’s system allows you to modify cards on the fly, changing how they’ll affect the battlefield once they’re played. Elemental interactions produce tide-turning effects, and units gain momentum as they move which will need to be considered as well. If you’re really looking to test your tactical acumen, this is definitely one to check out.

1.0 Release Date Announcement

  • Confirms the game is scheduled to leave early access 2/2/2022
  • True final boss fight will be added at launch
  • Spanish, German, Russian, and Chinese translations to be added at launch
  • Outlines 2022 post-launch roadmap

The Song of the Fae

Early Access Started in 2021

The Song of the Fae

TwoPM Studios has decided to see what would happen if chess also had deck building and boss battles. In their whimsical, pixelated title The Song of the Fae, a human bard has managed to wrangle an invitation to the annual WizardChess tournament that was previously exclusive to the Fair Folk themselves.

Each run is procedurally generated right down to AI priorities and personalities, giving the game tons of replayability. Each move can dramatically change the board position. Have a look for yourself and see what the two-person team at TwoPM is crafting.

Build 127 Notes

  • Updated shop art
  • Improved visual clarity during gameplay
  • New unit trade offers now randomly appear during gameplay
  • …and more!

Rise of the Foederati

Early Access started in 2020

Rise of the Foederati

There are plenty of games about the might of Rome. Most of these put the player in control of the Eternal City and her Legions, or of her many enemies. Rise of the Foederati takes a different approach to this formative period in history. The foederati were tribes and city-states on the Italian peninsula who were considered “allies” of Rome… in that they were expected to provide tribute and troops if they didn’t want a visit from the aforementioned Legions. As the name of the game suggests, this time around you’ll be playing as them.

The battles in Rise of the Foederati might be turn-based, but the world is persistent and updated in real-time. This is a massively-multiplayer strategy game, so the actions of every player will have an impact on the game world. The potential for alliances and other elements of PVP politics means that this indie title could produce emergent stories worthy of WoW or EVE Online. Visit Rise of the Foederati’s Steam page to learn more.

Update 1.7.8 Changelog

  • Added multi-step tooltips to inventory items
  • Added the Proven One unit for the Suebi
  • Improved clarity for item stack count
  • Updated in-game timelines


Early Access started in 2020


MoaCube’s Bonfire is a deliciously irreverent take on blood-soaked, grimdark fantasy. Your adventuring party of tragic misfits undertake a hopeless quest to defeat the forces of evil, and they’re kind of here for it. Combat is quick and full of big swings in both directions, and as the developers put it the game is built around “crazy builds that somehow work.” If you’re the kind of player who willfully defies the meta at every opportunity, you could have a winner with Bonfire.

It’s refreshing to see a dark-fantasy roguelike that doesn’t take itself too seriously and revels in the absurdity of the genre. Swing by the game’s Steam page and you too can gleefully cause your enemies to explode in a cascade of blood and gold.

Patch Notes

  • Redefined some item effects
  • AI and typo fixes
  • Bug and crash fixes
  • …and more!

Let me know what you think about these 10 Indie Turn-Based RPGs & Strategy Games in the comment below and don’t forget to check out the video version of this article on Youtube.


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Marcello TBL

Italian Dad in love with Turn-Based RPGs and Indie Games. In 2018 he started Turn Based Lovers and now he can't live without it.

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